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Matt Conover's Blog

Julie and I had an excellent experience traveling through China and getting exposure to the great work being led by Jeff Zhu, Lil Ma, Elise Lammers and the team at Dipont Education Mgt to "install" drama programs (English based - western theatre based) in high schools and ultimately middle and primary schools here is this amazing country.  We have had the opportunity to meet many students, several faculty and administrators who all - for the most part - are excited about the possibility too.

Here are a few photos from our visit .... and here is a link to a photo stream of even more!

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Saturday I head back to China. This time with a different purpose. I am traveling with Julie W. as a member of the EdTA Board at the invitation of Dipont Education Management. Their mission is to create rich high school programs in China to enable Chinese students to succeed at US universities. We know that theatre education is essential to a well rounded, complete secondary education so I am excited to see what our partnership can bring. Check back here as I will share some photos and thoughts of our journey! zài jiàn
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This past weekend, I had the privilege of meeting with the other members of the EdTA Board of Directors in Cincinnati as we continued pushing our effort to keep the association moving forward.  Walking the halls of the home office, seeing the plaques dedicated to all those people who have given days, weeks and years in service of the association.  Seeing the plaques and images recognizing the service many of the states also adorn the halls.  The desks of the staff, neatly cluttered (if thats possible) with all that's necessary to keep the association moving forward.

Moving forward.  It is how we must approach the future -- respecting the past and moving ahead.  This community is the result of countless hours of focus from many, many members of the EdTA staff.  The goal -- to better connect our members with each other and thus create our future.  For a national organization to continue to thrive, we have to learn from each other -- not just inside our school or our chapter, but across the country and eventually the world.  There are such amazing opportunities that something like this tool can create -- but it takes participation.  
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I had the pleasure of spending this past weekend in Conway, AR at the 2014 Arkansas State Thespian Festival!  What a great couple days at the University of Central Arkansas, with almost 1,000 attendees the energy was terrific the whole time!

With 29 presenters sharing more than 100 workshops on a great variety of topics, the students and adults who took part I know came away with more than they arrived with.  How great to have Brian Curl and Malia Drinkwitz be able to host their dance workshops on the full stage at the Reynolds Center -- an awesome environment for that great learning.  Neat experiences like Virtual Theatre with Dana Proulx-Willis and the terrific experiences kids had with former ITO John Stark teaching Art for Social Change!  The students were engaged and arrantly busy the whole time - as reports from the UCA staff were all positive ;)

A wide variety of IE's took place Thursday and Friday -- I had the chance to adjudicate Lighting Design and am always pleasantly surprised by the eagerness and sense of story some of the students bring to their work.
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